How Eating Beans Instead of Beef Will Save You and the Planet

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By Susan Levin

Because the world’s second largest greenhouse fuel emitter, the USA’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement drastically curbs international efforts to struggle global warming. However involved People don’t should feel powerless. It turns out that straightforward decisions we make day-after-day—or 3 times a day—have the facility to assist shield our planet.

Just lately, researchers from Loma Linda University launched a new study finding that if People merely replaced the beef of their diets with beans, the U.S. would immediately reach as much as 75 % of its greenhouse fuel emissions discount targets for 2020. It confirms what we’ve recognized for a while: To guard our warming planet, we should begin shifting animal products, like meat, cheese and eggs off of our plates. Animal agriculture now contributes more to international warming than all types of transportation mixed.

The livestock business additionally gobbles up large amounts of assets, together with land. Part of the problem is that growing after which changing animals, particularly cows, into meals is tremendously inefficient. By some estimates, simply one percent of the calories fed to cattle ultimately translate into human-edible calories. That signifies that acres upon acres of land are dedicated to rising crops or livestock feed, as an alternative of meals for humans. The truth is, a whopping 80 % of protein from U.S. crops is fed to animals. This may be sufficient to feed one billion people: every final individual in the U.S., Canada and South America mixed.

On prime of that, meat manufacturing gulps up big quantities of water. We often think about shorter showers and drier lawns once we think about water conservation, but agriculture accounts for 80 to 90 % of our water consumption. Think of it this manner: A mean American’s day by day bathe requires about 17 gallons of water. Making a single hamburger guzzles up a staggering 660 gallons. Producing a pound of beef requires a total of 1,800 gallons of water. To place it in perspective, producing just 3.5 pounds of beef—or 10 burgers—requires the identical quantity of water as a whole yr’s value of showers.*

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